Monday, April 19, 2010

The Dreaded Grocery Store

What should someone eating Paleolithically get at the grocery store? Going to the store used to be easy. There were staples in your typical diet that you probably always bought- milk, eggs, butter, cheese, bread, etc. Are you feeling lost now that you are trying to channel your primal ancestors' shopping list? Have no fear. Let me tell you what I consider my new staples (no seance required).

-Almond Flour- this is a great new staple that replaces traditional white flour. It is pricey though, so be prepared. A little bag of it is around $13. I've heard you can make your own in a food processor. You can also order offline to get a cheaper price.

-Omege-3 enriched eggs- After reading Loren Cordain's book, I've realized the importance of Omega-3s in your diet. They help your bones absorb the calcium in the fruits and vegetables you are eating. Buying good eggs that are enriched with Omega-3s are great for you. Studies have shown that eating one egg a day has no bearing on your cholesterol levels. If you eat a 2-3 egg omelet twice a week, you should be okay.

-Almond Milk- I put almond milk in almost everything now. I am a huge fan of breakfast smoothies, so almond milk goes in. I also put it in my coffee every morning.

-Avocado- What's life without this wonderful vegetable? I've recently become obsessed with Avos. I usually buy around 4 each week and I surprisingly use all of them. Avocado not only is great in things like salads, but also as a side with dinner (avo slices), on top of an omelet, or in Paleo guacamole.

-Kale- Two weeks ago when I started my Paleo journey I did not know what Kale was. Now, I have to go to the store midweek to restock my Kale supply. I know it sounds scary (and possibly gross) to put Kale in a smoothie, but you won't even know it's there. I also saute Kale as a side dish (see Paleo Porkchops entry).

-Berries- Oh seasonal berries, I love you so! I stock up on Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries every week. These are so versatile. I can eat them for breakfast, in a smoothie, in a salad, for dessert in a box with a fox... I can eat them here or there. I like berries. I like them, I like them, Sam-I-Am.

-Meat- I peruse the meat aisle (as I've come to affectionately call it) every week looking for lean meats. Some of my favorites are: bison, chicken, turkey breast, lean ground beef, lean porkchops, and seafood.

-Snacky Fruits- I am constantly looking for fruit that travels well or with a little work (cutting) can travel well. I stock up on apples, pears, cuties, grapes, kiwis, peaches, bananas, etc.

-Nuts and Seeds- I like to have nuts and seeds to snack on. Remember, if you are trying to lose weight you shouldn't eat more than 4 oz. of nuts a day (which seems pretty hard to do). Walnuts are the best nut to eat because of the Omega 3 to 6 ratio. I also like Pecans and Almonds. I also love sunflower seeds. Remember: Peanuts are technically a legume, thus not Paleo. Make sure to always buy unsalted, unroasted nuts.

-Oil- Flaxseed Oil is the best oil to buy because of the Omega-3 to 6 ratio, but I have yet to find it in a grocery store (I've been to 3). I stock up on Canola which is right up there in benefit and Olive Oil.

-Jerky- You can make your own jerky from virtually any meat or seafood, but I haven't attempted this yet. Instead, I buy All-Natural jerky with little or no salt added. This is a great snack and will keep you full longer (satiety) than anything else out there.

-Side Veggies- I look for vegetables to go with dinners such as asparagus, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, etc. I also stock up on salad leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, or chard. These either can be left raw for salad or cooked for a side dish.

-Accent Veggies- I always think of these veggies as accent veggies- they just make stuff better. These are the veggies to dress up salads, omelets, meat dishes, etc. I like to get onions, celery, cauliflower, peppers, carrots, garlic, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, sprouts, etc.

I love to shop at natural grocery stores like Whole Foods or Sunflower Market. These have cheaper produce that is usually organic and less tempting crap (for lack of a better word) that isn't Paleo. Some people like to develop their weekly menus prior to shopping, but do what feels right. I'm not that organized so I buy a variety, and cook as it moves me. Happy hunting and gathering a la grocery cart.

Hope this helps!

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